We use the Categories widget and then a custom menu using the categories to organize the site.
I had the US Supreme Court updates category sub'd into Certiorari Granted and Decisions.
My goal this afternoon was to Change "US Supreme Court Updates" to "US Supreme Court Decisions Updates" and then Add another category "US Supreme Court Certiorari Granted Updates." Before deleting the two subcategories, which would then just be useless or confusing, I figured I needed to recategorize their posts, so I left them there until we could do so.
I got as far as adding the word Decisions to the former and added a description which wasn't appearing when I was testing but turns out it does. Then when I went to Add the Certiorari Granted category, WP said there was already a category (albeit sub) that was similar. So, I went to Edit the Certiorari Granted Subcategory and changed its name to CG temporarily. When I clicked on Update, WP *removed* *all* of the categories from my list! (I'm not a coder, nor did I set up this site, so needless to say, I am stressing.)
When I could not find them anywhere, I tried this same thing with two test categories; test2 was a sub of test1 and when Editing the name of test2, *both* categories again were deleted from my list of categories.
The website seems to be functioning as if I never existed to make those changes today--except that it is displaying the Category Description that was meant to be only visible to the writers. But since I have no access to the category, I cannot fix that.... Anyways, the menu looks the same and the posts are all correctly categorized.
For my admin account and the other admin that I tested, it's like our categories don't exist! When we try to add a new post, there are no options. Yet...
My writer/user account and other user accounts (not admins) show the appropriate category option for adding their new posts.
The website does show the correct "description" for the CertGranted category page I made (which I would delete if I could access the category edit), so this page obviously exists now but is not listed in the menu, nor has it been assigned to any roles (writers).
Also, I went into the menu widget and it does have all the right categories listed in the custom menu (it even shows the CG change to the sub).
I've deleted my computer cache and also that on WP. I've tried this on two different computers, also in two different browsers.
I don't know what is going on. Does anyone have some ideas? Thanks.
(This seems to be different than other posters' problems relating to categories disappearing. Their issues were posts no longer being categorized; mine is that the posts are still categorized, appropriate categories are available for regular/writer users, and the website is still organized correctly, But the categories are no longer listed for the admin users so there is no access to edit them or create posts with them as Admin.)
Thanks again! Any prompt help will be much appreciated! This is widely used website for professionals nationwide. I'm just trying not to mess it up catastrophically!